Sunday, 31 January 2016

This week at Valley Press: a call for Yorkshire poems

Dear readers,

I'll leap straight in this week with the biggest news: as part of our Arts Council grant for 2016, we promised to publish a Yorkshire-themed poetry anthology, and we are opening submissions for it today. Here's the official announcement, which you can feel free to spread around the internet:

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Call for submissions: Yorkshire poetry anthology (deadline: 31st May)

In October 2016, Yorkshire-based Valley Press will publish an anthology of poetry which aims to document and celebrate our multi-faceted home county. We are now searching for great poems to feature in the book, from writers based anywhere in the world. Poems can be on any subject or topic – a place, an incident, a person, an idea – with only one rule: there must be some connection with the county of Yorkshire. (If in any doubt as to where Yorkshire begins and ends, consult this helpful map.)

Contributing poets will each receive a copy of the finished book, and a share of £900 in prize money/fees. We are considering poems which have been published before, but the author must be able to grant Valley Press non-exclusive rights to reproduce them in this anthology (if in doubt, consult your previous publisher).

The anthology will be edited by York-based poet Miles Salter, and submissions (maximum three poems per author) should be sent to, with the subject line 'Yorkshire Poetry Anthology', by 5pm on May 31st. The featured poets will be announced by September 1st, and the book is expected to be launched on National Poetry Day (Thursday 6th October).

Funding for this project has been generously provided by Arts Council England. We look forward to seeing your poems – best of luck!
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In other news: I was delighted by the response to last week's newsletter – no great exodus of subscribers, plenty of emails of support, and better still, lots of people taking advantage of the 'buy one get one free' offer! Thanks folks!

To keep the goodwill going, I'll do another offer this week: anyone who buys our first hardback, Ex Libris by David Hughes, can receive a second VP book free of charge. You should be able to add a 'note to seller' at the checkout advising me which book you'd like as your freebie (or say 'surprise me!') – but if you can't find that button, just reply to this email and let me know your choice.

I've chosen Ex Libris as Antony Dunn, the book's editor, is coming to Scarborough on February 11th for a reading at our favourite bookshop Wardle & Jones, and he's promised to read from David's book as well as his own collections. You can find details on that event here, and contact the bookshop for tickets, which are £5. I won't be featuring too many events in these newsletters – as I worry about annoying the 95% of subscribers who don't live anywhere near Scarborough! – but that will be a really special evening.

Next week: the new website is coming, and it is looking good. Watch this space!

All best,
Jamie McGarry, VP Publisher

Sunday, 24 January 2016

This week at Valley Press: 'the dawn of a new era'

Dear readers,

Welcome to another year on board the unstoppable literary juggernaut that is Valley Press; which, since I last wrote, has been described as 'one of Yorkshire's leading publishers' by the Yorkshire Post. I could get used to that!

I want to try something a bit different this year with the newsletter; rather than giving you a lengthy missive at random intervals, I'm going to do a short email every Sunday afternoon. Most people I've broached this idea with have reacted in horror, but I've always felt market research can only take a person so far ... so let's give it a whirl.

February will see the launch of our new website, and with that operational, I'll be able to give out 'exclusive discount codes' to newsletter subscribers; so there's one good reason to stick around. The plan is to have a half-price paperback on offer every single week – but in the meantime, I'll do a 'buy one get one free'. This week, anyone who buys our latest publication, Jo Brandon's The Learned Goose (pictured above), can receive a second VP book free of charge. Just make sure to formally request the free book at the checkout. You can specify which you want, or say 'surprise me' and see what turns up!

Two bits of news since the last newsletter: first, I've expanded the team at Valley Press, with the finer details announced in this blog post. My newly-minted colleagues have been working wonders with our Twitter feed since then; plus, Rosa has resurrected our Tumblr (which to be honest, I'd forgotten existed) and launched us onto Instagram. If you're into that sort of thing, make sure you follow us; and there's always Facebook too.

Finally, and perhaps most excitingly, I need to draw your attention to a new opportunity for writers, which could lead to publication in a Valley Press book this June. The Remember Oluwale Writing Prize, to be judged by Caryl Phillips, Marina Lewycka and Ian Duhig, has been explained wonderfully on the Leeds Big Bookend site, so head there if you think you could come up with a short story or shorter poem on an important subject.

Check your inbox for more of the same next week – thanks for reading.

All best,
Jamie McGarry, VP Publisher